Winter – It’s that wonderful time of year where the nights are cooler, the days are shorter and the festive season nears. What it also means though are constantly changing road conditions, is that the roads become icy, your car becomes frosty and your car needs some care and attention to get it ready for the changing conditions on the roads.
Read on to discover our top 5 tips to get your car winter ready (number 4 is our favorite!)
1. Change to Winter Tyres
As the roads start to change and lose their grip from a fresh setting of snow and ice, it’s important you’re driving on the appropriate tyres. Winter tyres are best fit when the average temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius – Typically this will be around October through to the end of March.
A fresh set of boots on your car will drastically improve the control of the vehicle when driving on roads that may not have been de-iced or sufficiently gritted. They will also help with braking, as braking distance when driving on ice can be as great as 10x the distance, opposed to normal driving conditions.
2. Clear Your Roof Before Driving
This should really be common sense, but always clear your roof of snow and ice before driving.
Driving with snow on your roof is incredibly dangerous, especially at high speeds as unexpected snow and ice hitting the car behind yours could cause that driver to lose visibility of the road ahead. In turn, other drivers may find themselves unexpectedly braking, and on icy roads this can easily cause a car crash.
3. Always Carry an Ice Scraper and De-Icer
There’s nothing worst than getting ready to drive in the winter months, only to realise that you don’t have an ice scraper or sufficient de-icer to clear any frost. It’s vital you carry such equipment when preparing to drive, because without it you might be waiting a good while for your in car heaters to melt away the ice.
Never drive when you’re windscreen is covered in ice or snow, always make sure all ice has been cleared before driving.
If you don’t have any de-icer than whatever you do, DO NOT USE HOT WATER. You may end up finding yourself with a costly car repair to replace a cracked windscreen, and a car that is undriveable as a result. That’s not the ideal start to anyone’s day.
4. Pack an Emergency Kit
None of us like to plan for the worst, but it’s a great idea to plan ahead should the worst happen. Say you find yourself driving down a country road that hasn’t been gritted, and all of a sudden the light flurry of snow turns into a heavy and persistent snow storm. In these conditions, driving could become much more treacherous than earlier in the day, and you may find it unsafe to continue driving on the roads.
In these situations, having a basic emergency kit could help save lives in the worst case scenario, but what should it include?
We recommend the following:
- Bottled water
- Food snacks (such as granola bars or energy bars)
- A torch
- Spare batteries
- A high-vis jacket
- Mobile phone and SIM card
- First aid kit
5. Only Drive When Necessary
Driving when the road conditions are less than ideal puts both you and other road users at a greater risk of an unfortunate and possibly avoidable crash. When the conditions on the road change, think to yourself – “Do I really need to go out in that”. If the answer is no, then don’t put yourself in harms way. Stay at home or drive at a different time, possibly when the road conditions improve again. The worst time to drive typically will be in the evenings or early mornings, while the sun is down or at it’s lowest point.
During these times, the roads are more likely to be covered in ice or snow, so leaving a little later may help the ice melt before you drive out.
While we understand that there may be circumstances whereby you cannot avoid driving, it may be worth waiting that little bit longer. This way, you greatly reduce the chances of causing a crash or being involved in one.
Like our list? Contact Smart Leasing Solutions today to discuss your next car!